Cape Town – We all have or had a grandfather whose stories on “the stoep” have enthralled us since before we started noticing the opposite sex.
My grandfathers were two very different people. The one was a postman who had one of the best singing voices in the Cape, while my other granddad was a policeman, who chased stock thieves in the Kalahari.
So you can imagine the interesting stories I was privileged to listen to. As they got older, they started to tell the same stories over and over, but I didn’t care – the stories just never got boring.
What made the stories exciting was that both my grandfathers were characters. And both had their own unique way of telling their stories.
Mike Comitis, the grandfather of Ajax Cape Town who decided to leave the football world this week, reminds me a lot of my old toppies.
He loved telling stories about his experiences over the last 60 years in football. Stories like how they used to smoke in the changeroom at halftime and after the match.
He always compared Lionel Messi to some of the best players he saw over the last 60 years and it was always fascinating to hear his take on the standard of South African football.
I’m sure his colleagues at Ajax are going to miss him dearly, even if he didn’t take any prisoners when he felt they weren’t doing their job.
Most of them, though, saw through that hard-nose attitude and saw a heart as soft as sago pudding.
Mike Comitis is one of the real characters in football, a man with the game close to his heart. He is the kind of guy you wanted to go say “Hello” to, especially after a big match, because you could pick his brain for free.
South African football is losing these sorts of characters on and off the field. Benni McCarthy is probably the best example of a player and an entertainer that has left the game of football.
Unfortunately, I can’t think of another Benni who can add that showmanship and charisma to the big occasions. Most players today are almost as exciting to interview as a doorknob.
Off the field, “Mr C”, as most people know Comitis, was one of those guys who brought that spunk to the South African game. But he was also passionate about his job, especially about making sure that everything goes well in the hours leading up to a big clash at Cape Town Stadium.
Those types of administrators don’t grow on trees, and his little cameos at the press conferences at Ikamva will surely be missed.
His retirement will certainly also be a big loss for Ajax Cape Town, especially as his experience in South African football would have helped the club’s new regime over this transitional period.
However, the memories he will leave behind, especially his football tales, will be remembered forever. Go well Mr C. Hope you can watch the football with a little less stress in the future. Although I doubt that is going to happen.
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
@zane_moosa (Moosa highlights the problem with South Africa’s development): We have too many foreigners in our league. Many of them qualify as naturalised SA citizens thus depriving our youngsters!!
@GaryLineker (the former Tottenham striker jokes about Gareth Bale’s potential move to Real Madrid): I’ve missed the odd episode of the Bale saga lately. Will have to wait for the box set.
WHO TO FOLLOW
@GarethBale11: The man of the moment hasn’t tweeted since July 18, but follow him and be the first to know when he makes his record-breaking move to Madrid.
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